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A solitary baboon barked throughout the night. The barking sound was the stitch between silence and darkness. Dogs never barked to anything. Owls were ironically trapped in their dark nests. Dawn arrived unexpectedly. My father coughed from the pit of his lungs .My skin tightened because his cough was deep. His incessant loud snores disturbed the silence. Fingers of the sun soon filtered into my torn blanket. Intense heat pricked my whip lashed back .I felt an irritating pain inside me. I sneaked out of my night trap with a bold start and peeped into the real world through the crevices of my rondavel.I couldn’t believe my innocent eyes, just outside next to river, stray dogs whined and snarled amid a leisurely sexual act . I made an embarrassed laughter. They danced in their act as if seized by epilepsy seizures. Their madly, love making howls attracted the attention of some errand dogs appearing from behind the nearby bushes in rushed hunt of rodents. The vicious bull dogs snarled to scare the male partner on top. It ran away tuning a cowardice whine, leaving its sex partner in the shame of other dogs. The remaining partner got mad like a wounded lioness. It fought the attackers of her mate to the victorious end. Dust enveloped the scene as bulldogs howled haplessly under the fierce attack of the bitch. They surrendered in blinded directions. Machena remained at the drama scene snarling with the air of defeat .I pelted it with a stone. It ran away faster than a wind ripple. It howled still in defiance and then melted into the hazy of the shimmering December heat. I spat a goblet of anger into the burning dust. I crushed it under my cracked feet. “Dogs are always dogs”. I cursed the creator for once in my lifetime. The morning ballooned into a filled day, the air was pregnant with heat.

Beads of sweat splashed all over my body. The sky was in its usual bald shave. The earth was silent as if everyone had been summoned to hell. May be God wanted to announce the proverbial end of the world. Hell had paid us homage .Triplets hunger, drought and poverty roasted us into biltong. Dying and living were now the same. The river was fast dwindling. Gossip remained the source of life .The rumor of mermaids soon faded into oblivion. Crocodiles disappeared into their caves without any visible trace .Time ticked away as hours were fattened into days by each minute. I was startled by an abrupt, rib crushing wail. It was as if a jolt of lightening ripped through my heart. I hesitated on my sit and nearly wetted my pants. The wail echoed again, arousing tiny insects to life .The persisting cries brought the once silent village to a jostling festival. My stomach twisted. My heart drummed inside my chest box. My blood rushed. I rushed outside to wedge my thin self into thickness of raging crowd. A beehive crowd swarmed Bvambu’s rondavel. Some nodded with distress and some yelped in trances of anger .Confusion was written all over their awe- creased faces. Many watched the unfolding drama in utter astonishment .The river gushed heavily in response to the mood. I was clueless. I was stone shocked . My father was inside the maddening crowd. Bvambu was standing there stark naked, wincing in pain, covering the part between his legs with bloody hands .A random splash of condensed milk semen sat ugly on his right thigh.He was bleeding profusely. The glint of life was fast fading off his eyes, the experience bleached him into a mound of pale white clay. Bvambu was known for his hunting prowess, many called prince of the forest. That day he missed a good catch, he caught a wrong one. He failed to skin the wrong catch alive this time around. To my teeth gritting amazement, Runako coughed out and spat Bvambu foreskin onto the dust. She crushed it with edified vehemence. Her round lips quivered with grief .Grannies were dazed .Many were tongue tied. Bvambu remained hapless. His gigantic figure was reduced to a rock lizard by a village girl. She ripped off his foreskin from his entire penis in a tussle to defend herself. She unapologetically lifted his torn underpants in the air to the full glare of the whole village. A gust of wind rustled through carrying the untraceable bouts of laughter from hesitant voices in the crowd .My tongue dried in my mouth .I sneezed to avoid further embarrassment .Bvambu exhibited an abrupt devilish grin of shame .He cast a long intensive stare towards Runako’s direction as if he wanted to swallow.
“Bvambu grabbed me from the river Tugwe. I was taking a quick bath .He crushed my breasts and pruned me naked to….. and forced me to suck his………” She stammered and failed to complete the last blurb. There was a rushed murmur from crowd, a retreat and then a stampede as women pelted heavy stones and brooms towards Bvambu. Marunjeya Runako’s mother grabbed Bvambu by his throat. He gulped cups of forced air. His lungs choked and they rolled down together for several minutes. Gasps of their battles filled the rondavel. Bvambu lost his finger in the battle. Runako’s mother fainted instantly.
“He said he wanted to give roasted meat as my belated Christmas present, I refused and he closed my mouth. I clutched his male gun and crushed”. Runako sobbed profusely as the drool of fear splashed her bare breasts. I felt a rushed fever in my spine as they quivered as unattended ripe mangoes. I was not alone. A great applause thundered from irate villagers. Insults and pebbles rained into Bvambu’s face. The headman whisked him to Runde Clinic. Villagers scattered back to their lone homesteads. Runako had a tender peach skin with chocolate brown lips that cracked a seductive, convincing cherry plum smile. She carried breasts worth a fortune of precious gold. . Soft words fell from her mouth like mountain drizzle. Her figure resembled a bundle of diamond beads.Herlooks were bold and her guinea pea eyes, a gift of stars Runako was an amazing craft that God has given his whole time, talent and creativity. My mother cherished her beauty. Runako refused the prince of Satan to contaminate her dignity for an ounce of roasted meat. she became our she-heroe. Her fame lingered in our village and other for many years. The drama didn’t end but paused. Bvambu strangled himself with a bandage in a hospital ward. News of death wafted into the entire village like the scent of newly baked bread. He was unceremoniously laid to rest by seven elders far away from the village rhythm, inside the hills of grey mist. Elders advised that suicide death were not to be mourned in homesteads .Such abominations would result into evils of hunger and unending droughts. Runako later travelled to the big city to further her studies.


  • Girl Power
  • Gender-based Violence
  • Positive Masculinity
    • Africa
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